In reading Mark Ivey’s excellent post in Social Media Explorer about what Steve Jobs has taught us about marketing, I got to thinking about Steve Jobs’ way of doing things. Jobs created great products because he didn’t tweak. Tweaking is a path to mediocrity. He didn’t base new products on existing products. He didn’t take something that was good and make it better.
When you take something good and make it better, you get better, not great.
When you take something good and make it better, by definition, you don’t innovate.
Steve Jobs didn’t base decisions about new products on consumer surveys. There is nothing wrong with asking customers for feedback but that feedback is based on what exists right now. Customers will tell you what they do or do not like about your product’s colors or battery life or shape. There is a place for “customer insight” but it’s not as a means of developing products. No one asked for an iPod.
Tweaking is about rethinking what already exists. Creativity is about starting from a blank piece of paper and imagining something new.